An air conditioner is the lifeline to summertime comfort, and if it’s the wrong size, your energy bills and comfort may be compromised during our long cooling season. Central cooling systems that aren’t the right size either work too hard or not hard enough, and in both cases, the results are higher cooling costs and more wear on your equipment.
The industry standard for selecting and installing new cooling systems starts with a load calculation using software called Manual J. This exercise takes into account the many factors of your home that contribute to its cooling load. The cubic footage is one consideration, along with its overall energy efficiency, its floorplan design, your temperature preferences and the heat you create indoors.
The HVAC contractor enters detailed data about your home and Manual J returns the size your system should be. Its companion software, Manual D, recommends the ductwork size and configuration. If there’s any doubt about the system you’re choosing, the contractor can verify its suitability for this climate using Manual S.
Sometimes a less-than-thorough contractor will go by your square footage or the size of the existing equipment in the home. If any previous homeowner has improved the energy efficiency of the home or had widely different lifestyle or family size, you may need a different size. A system that’s too small will run continually, increasing its wear and possibly leaving you too warm during exceptionally hot weather.
It’s tempting to think that a bigger A/C will lower energy bills and be able to keep up with the cooling demands all summer. However, such a system will run in short cycles, which increase energy bills and system wear. When cooling systems first start, the electrical demands are the highest. The system may not have time to cool the indoor evaporator coil enough to remove any excess humidity during the monsoon, making your home feel warmer.
For more information about right-sizing your next air conditioner, contact Hansberger Refrigeration & Electric Company. We’ve provided trusted HVAC services for Yuma area homeowners for more than six decades.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioner and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock